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Smart Tips for Quitting Your Job

image for AndreyPopov / Getty Images
AndreyPopov / Getty Images

Quitting a job is never easy. It can be nerve-wrecking walking into your boss's office to deliver the news. While the following tips for quitting your job in a smart way won't take the nerves away, at least you know you've done everything you can to leave your current position the right way, and that will light the path to your future employer in more ways than one. Keep reading for tips for a smart exit from your job.

Taking a look back at the job you are thinking about leaving and accounting for all pros and cons can help you make better decisions moving forward. It's ideal to look at every job as a learning experience or stepping stone to the next opportunity.

If you don't have another job lined up before quitting your current one, make sure you have enough savings to get you through a few months of living expenses in case the next job opportunity doesn't come along right away. Even if you do have something lined up, it may take some time for your first paycheck and/or benefits to kick in, so having some extra savings as a safety net is a good idea.

Upon exit from your current job, make sure that you haven't signed any documents that may prevent you from working from another employer of your choice in the future. The last thing you'd want after quitting a job is to get into a legal battle over a non-compete clause you forgot you signed at a previous job.

A good way to ensure that you're leaving a job on positive terms is to give as much notice as possible. The standard is two weeks, but it can be more than that. For instance, if you know you want to leave in two months, give that much notice. This way you can help onboard your replacement and leave a good impression with your former employer.

Word travels fast. If you start talking about leaving your job to coworkers and work friends, it may get to your boss before you're ready to make the announcement. You want this news coming directly from you to prevent any hard feeling upon your exit, especially if you have a close relationship with your boss.

Your boss may ask why you're leaving, and it's perfectly acceptable to tell them it's for better pay, better benefits, or just a better career opportunity in general. While it's OK to voice concerns you had in your current position, stay away from criticizing the company when giving your notice. If you can't frame it in a neutral, diplomatic way, it's best not to get into the specifics. And remember, you are not obligated to tell your boss where you're going unless it violates a non-compete clause.

Even if you're unhappy with your current employer, you must have enjoyed some part of your position. When you write your formal resignation letter – which many employers require for HR documentation – try to express some of these positive sentiments. It will show that you are leaving in good faith and keep doors open for the future.

Once you've given your notice, it's important to still do your job to the best of your ability. You want to leave this position knowing that you worked hard right up until the end, and that usually doesn't go unnoticed.